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Tyler Perry is pissed! In a lengthy essay posted Sunday on his official Facebook fan page, filmmaker Perry recounted a recent confrontation with law enforcement officers after he was allegedly pulled over and interrogated by police in Atlanta.
Now the Atlanta Police Department is opening an investigation into the incident. The Office of Professional Standards made this statement:
“The Atlanta Police Department has confirmed that two officers recently encountered Mr. Tyler Perry during a traffic stop. Mr. Perry’s concerns, as recently expressed by him publicly, will be the basis for referral of the matter to the department’s Office of Professional Standards. OPS has opened an investigation to determine if Mr. Perry’s claims can be substantiated, and whether any departmental policies or procedures were violated during the stop.”
According to Perry’s post, he was leaving his studio when he made an illegal turn in order to ensure that he was not being followed. Two police officers pulled Perry over and purportedly pressed him about his actions, calling attention to his tinted windows and expressing their suspicion at why Perry believed he was being followed. A third officer arrived and seemingly explained who Perry was, and the officers apologized.
“As I stepped out of the car another officer pulled up in front of my car. This officer was a black guy. He took one look at me and had that “Oh No” look on his face. He immediately took both officers to the back of my car and spoke to them in a hushed tone. After that, one of the officers stayed near his car while one came back, very apologetic.”
“I said all of that to say this: do you see how quickly this could have turned for the worse? Now I know that there are many great officers, patrolmen and security guys out there. I am aware of that. But although we have made significant strides with racial profiling in this country, the world needs to know that we are still being racially profiled, and until this situation has improved greatly, I’m not sure how a murder in Florida can be protected by a ‘stand your ground law.’”
Perry ended the story by citing two cases of alleged racial profiling — the first being Travyon Martin, and the second being an eight-year-old case of two missing youths from Florida. Perry wrote that he has been “screaming at the top of my lungs” about the disappearances of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos, seen below. “They were never arrested, never brought to jail,” Perry wrote.
He ended with this message: “RACIAL PROFILING SHOULD BE A HATE CRIME INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI!!! That way local government can’t make the decision on whether or not these people get punished.”
As of the time of this post, Perry’s Facebook essay had over 109,000 Likes, 18,000 comments and more than 10,000 shares across the social network, and it continues to spread across Twitter. Perry is certainly not the first to address the Trayvon Martin case, but his candid retelling of the alleged details of his run-in with the Atlanta Police Department could inspire more celebs to address the issue of racial profiling by law enforcement officials.
What do you think?